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Funk Filharmonik
  • Maplewood, NJ
  • United States
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Latest Activity

April 4
Yeah!! This is where I come from: big horn phunk! Nice.
April 2
April 1
Funk Filharmonik added 5 videos
April 1
April 1
Funk Filharmonik was featured
April 1
An event by Funk Filharmonik was featured
April 22, 2011 from 6pm to 10pm
Funk Filharmonk is finally celebrating its 25th (and a half) Anniversary after the snows of the past winter forced us to cancel our show in December... You DON’T want to miss this party as we’ve been chomping at the bit to get it together! All ages…
April 1
Funk Filharmonik added 8 photos
April 1
Funk Filharmonik added an event
April 22, 2011 from 6pm to 10pm
Funk Filharmonk is finally celebrating its 25th (and a half) Anniversary after the snows of the past winter forced us to cancel our show in December... You DON’T want to miss this party as we’ve been chomping at the bit to get it together! All ages…
April 1
Friday 4/22, Funk Filharmonik's 25.5 Anniversary. The Crazy Donkey Farmingdale NY Funkfone: 516-345-1928
April 1
Funk Filharmonik added 8 songs
April 1

Profile Information

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Musician Instrumental, Musician Vocalist, FAN, Music Educator, Song Writer, Booking Agent, Manager
What instrument(s) do you play? (you can select more than one)
bass (electric), drums, guitar, keyboards, percussion, sax (baritone), sax (tenor), trombone, trumpet, vocals (backup), vocals (soloist)
What are your favorite Musical Genres?
Pop, Blues, Jazz, Latin Jazz, Soul Jazz, Acoustic, Traditional, Classical, Funk, R&B / Soul, Caribbean / Reggae, Rock, Cajun / Zydeco
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Funk Filharmonik's Page

Funk Filharmonik's Photos


About Funk Filharmonik...


On one of those magical Monday nights in 1985 at Canterbury Ales in Huntington a popular musicians hang featuring the Jim Pin 5 + 2 – 1 Band. A five piece horn section, with whom the rhythm section had recently been rehearsing squeezed into the jam packed club in front of the club's infamous ultra-compact fold down stage. When they punched out the last note of Tower of Power's “What is Hip,” the crowd went wild, and what was to eventually become Funk Filharmonik was born.“It all actually started out as nothing more than a rehearsal band simply for the enjoyment of playing this music,” said Lee Finkelstein.


Ozzie Melendez, the band's musical director (producer, arranger, composer of the newly released CD entitled “Everybody Get Down) and trombone player approached the band's former tenor sax player Alex Stewart with the idea of a band that could genuinely duplicate the sounds of Earth Wind and Fire and Tower of Power. They presented the idea to drummer Lee Finkelstein and bassist Rich Ebler of the Jim Pin Band. As it turned out, Lee and Rich had visions of the same band for years. An immediate alliance was formed. “I was so excited,” recounts Ozzie, “that I went home, and the very next day started transcribing six of my favorite Tower of Power tunes.


When Gary Smith, of The Brokerage Pub and long time pillar of Long Island's live music scene heard the line up of this band, he booked them sight unseen, without a demo tape. Many of Funk's members had performed regularly at The Brokerage and Gary knew the caliber of musicians he was dealing with.


Funk Philharmonia (as they were originally called) first gig was on November 21st 1985. Since that first gig, there have been surprisingly few changes in the band's line up, especially for a group of this size.


Funk Filharmonik's big, fat, fiery horn sound and chunky rhythmic vibe has become a magnet for musicians and music lovers of all stripes, from jazz hipsters to rockin' bikers, from students to teachers, youngsters to oldsters, fans of jazz, funk, soul, R & B, listeners, dancers, to some of the most well know musicians in the NY Metropolitan area.


Funk Filharmonik has influenced many other local bands and fueled the resurgence of horn bands on L.I. Their performances have become a local hang for so many players. One never knows who is in the audience and might come up to sit in with the band, particularly when they gig in Manhattan. The band does, after all, feature some of Long Island's hottest and most in demand players. Collectively, they've recorded and continue to perform with the icons of popular music, including Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Tower of Power, Diana Ross, Janet Jackson, Blues Brothers, Aretha Franklin, John Mayer, Bootsy Collins, Steve Cropper, Shaggy, the Winans, Mariah Carey, The Allman Brothers, John Oates, Eddie Floyd, Huey Lewis, Michael Bolton, Queen Latifah, and so many more.


Some of Funk Fil’s members have also played and recorded and continue to play with jazz and Latin giants including Tito Puente, Willie Colon, Freddie Hubbard, Jonathan Butler, Marc Anthony, Lionel Hampton, Jennifer Lopez, the Brecker Brothers, and a list that goes on and on. Their talents have added to countless TV and Broadway shows, and commercial jingles. At any given moment, these guys might be off performing as a band, as a horn section, or individual players in the far corners of the world playing in such diverse settings as presidential inaugurations, midnight sun concerts in Sweden's Arctic Circle, or spiritual drum and dance ceremonies of Ghana, West Africa. Funk Filharmonik also prides itself in the many benefits they and their loyal following of funksters have supported for humanitarian and environmental causes.
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At 3:23pm on April 1, 2011, Mike Stokes said…
Glad to have you as part of our musical family.  Funk Filharmonik is a fantastic band!


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